How can I improve my understanding of Spanish

Rob-F15 January 27, 2017, 9:40 pm
I have been learning Spanish for about 3 months and  about to complete Level 1.  My vocabulary is good and I am confident in understanding written Spanish but I really struggle in understanding spoken Spanish..I am improving week by week but should I focus on flash cards, listen to videos over and over again. Any suggestions from anyone?

 
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
Dan-H24 January 28, 2017, 3:36 am
Rob, I think that understanding spoken Spanish is the most difficult of the four domains.  I think it is because listening is the only one in which you cannot control the speed. You are at the mercy of the speaker.

I listen to CNN en Español in my vehicle while I am driving. Unless the speech is very measured, I miss a lot of words, but I am trying to catch what I can and at least understand the meaning of the story.

I also do language exchanges with native Spanish speakers, where I can ask them to repeat or explain the meaning of words I miss. I also attend a weekly Spanish conversation group where I have the same option.

I listen to videos on Yabla, and podcasts from another source, and I am trying to get the meaning of each word or phrase...Read More
Rob, I think that understanding spoken Spanish is the most difficult of the four domains.  I think it is because listening is the only one in which you cannot control the speed. You are at the mercy of the speaker.

I listen to CNN en Español in my vehicle while I am driving. Unless the speech is very measured, I miss a lot of words, but I am trying to catch what I can and at least understand the meaning of the story.

I also do language exchanges with native Spanish speakers, where I can ask them to repeat or explain the meaning of words I miss. I also attend a weekly Spanish conversation group where I have the same option.

I listen to videos on Yabla, and podcasts from another source, and I am trying to get the meaning of each word or phrase. So I listen to them over and over, backing up when I miss something. 

I hope this helps.
Dan

 
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
Steven-W15 January 28, 2017, 9:31 am
Good advice from Dan. Hang in there, Rob- 3 months is nothing. The conversational skills will come.
 
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
Rob-F15 January 28, 2017, 2:27 pm
Dan

Many thanks for your advice.......Going forwards, I'll focus on watching and listening to videos coupled with listening to the radio as the more I listen to Spanish conversation,  the more I should retain and eventually  understand.

Rob
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
Dan-H24 January 28, 2017, 3:20 pm
Rob: No te preocupes. I think it is hard to measure objectively, but the more you listen "passively" (radio, not completely understanding every word) I think listening gradually becomes more effective. Just not long ago it started to occur to me that I was getting more of the gist of conversations than I had before.
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
KelllaurBailar January 30, 2017, 2:50 pm
I would agree that listening to the radio and computer dialogues in native-speaker time is the right way to further your ability to understand spoken Spanish. Don't be afraid to think outside the box--you can even swap your regular workout playlist for a Spanish one. Lots of great Spanish music meant for dancing that is understandable out there if you find the pop ones too quick! 
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
Steven-W15 January 30, 2017, 3:14 pm
Good points. Music is how I passively listen to Spanish. I generally print out the words to get better oriented. I put out a couple of song lists on the forum awhile back. The following is a few of the easier ones that come to mind: 
- Eres Tu
- La Bamba
- Guantenamera
- Noches de blanco saten
 
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
Dan-H24 January 30, 2017, 6:44 pm
Ai, Guantanamera...me encanta esa canción. Es la versión Cubano de una canción de Jimmy Buffett:

"Some people say that there's a woman to blame, but I know its my own damn fault."
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
KelllaurBailar January 30, 2017, 7:13 pm
-"Te Voy A Olvidar" by Henry Mendez (who by the way has some very catchy music)
-"Abrazame" by Alejandro Fernandez, more of a gushy song, but easy to understand. 
Also try some of Selena's less-dated songs, and if you look up Salsa music you will find plenty that works!
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
yademas May 9, 2017, 7:01 pm
This is a good little series you can find on YouTube, simple conversations with subtitles.  I think there are 13 episodes or so.  It's kind of a silly "Saved by the Bell" type of show, but it's good for listening skills.  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86OaYqmjTrs&list=PLRps6yTcWQbrPgh0nNqNwin8UULKxlRcE
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
Dan-H24 May 12, 2017, 9:06 pm
yadamas: Gracias por esta recomendación. Vi el primer episodio hoy. Tienes razón, es un poco estupido, pero es chistoso también. Me gusta que el narrativo es bastante lento. Es fácil entender para un gringo como yo.
Saludos,
Dan
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
yademas May 21, 2017, 1:35 am
La música me ayuda mucho.  Aquí hay una canción peruana que aprendí hace muchos años.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7NvHixMxbk

Llora cholo llora, llora y sufre.. 

Amigo por que tomas tanto por que acabas tu vida por esa 
mujer, amigo deja de beber escucha mis palabras y asi la olvidaras, 
esa mujer nunca te amo esa mujer siempre te engaño 
y se burlaba de ti cuantas veces queria 
y te besaba finjiendote querer 
y se burlaba de ti cuantas veces queria 
y te besaba finjiendote querer. 
Olvidala amigo no debes recordarla 
mejor seria olvidarla y asi sera mejor, 
olvidala amigo no debes recordarla 
mejor seria olvidarla y asi sera mejor...Read More
La música me ayuda mucho.  Aquí hay una canción peruana que aprendí hace muchos años.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7NvHixMxbk

Llora cholo llora, llora y sufre.. 

Amigo por que tomas tanto por que acabas tu vida por esa 
mujer, amigo deja de beber escucha mis palabras y asi la olvidaras, 
esa mujer nunca te amo esa mujer siempre te engaño 
y se burlaba de ti cuantas veces queria 
y te besaba finjiendote querer 
y se burlaba de ti cuantas veces queria 
y te besaba finjiendote querer. 
Olvidala amigo no debes recordarla 
mejor seria olvidarla y asi sera mejor, 
olvidala amigo no debes recordarla 
mejor seria olvidarla y asi sera mejor. 

¡Amigo por que tomas tanto porque acabas tu vida 
amigo deja de beber y escuchas mis palabras y asi la 
olvidaras, para que sufras!! 
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
Dan-H24 May 24, 2017, 11:46 am
He estado viendo un episodio de "La Llegada de Sam" cada día. Sí, es un poco tonto, pero lo me gusta mucho. Ayer reconocí que es la versión español de "Three's Company": una rubia hermosa, una morena linda, y una hombre bobo comparten un apartamento, y tienen una dueña malo.
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
Phédre nó Delaunay de Montréve May 25, 2017, 2:49 am
yademas -- I checked out that youtube video you posted: That's some good stuff! Thanks for the suggestion. It will be fun to watch. 
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
yademas June 16, 2017, 12:40 am
Here is another great, short video that also ties in with the culture section of Lección 12.8 (Books on a Donkey).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=57&v=wuTswmx9TQU
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
jolietil June 17, 2017, 2:32 pm
Here are some great videos on Spanish grammar :
http://www.senorjordan.com/los-videos/
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
SteveB32 July 30, 2018, 11:53 am
I concur on the challenge of understanding spoken Spanish. I've been at it for a year and a half, at least 45 minutes a day, but more since joining Rocket at level 3.  My effort is pretty high, what with currently re-doing the level, and adding the vocab from Rocket tediously to Anki, and of course doing the daily Anki. ( I know about the tools within Rocket, but I swear by Anki ).

But man, yeah, when I try to turn on some of the spanish channels on my cable, way too fast. I almost feel like I'll need to resort to always having to say: "hable despacio por favor" when I do travel.  

I like the youtube tv series that is posted above. I'll start on that.  Plus, I have a youtube playlist called spanish lyrics, where I list songs, for which I have also printed the lyrics and stapled together.
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
Dan-H24 July 30, 2018, 12:30 pm
Steve: I agree completely about the value of Anki. I wish I had discovered it, and the book that exploits its use, when I began learning Spanish. SRS, and the use of visual prompts instead of English words, is so helpful to me. 

So here is what I have discovered from being in Spanish-speaking countries, or being around native speakers: if you put a puzzled look on your face they will likely notice that you are having trouble and will slow down a bit, or ask, "¿Tú sabes?" to confirm whether or not you are understanding what is being said. But if not, "¿Cómo?" is your best friend!
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
the-hefay July 30, 2018, 8:56 pm
"¿Cómo?" is probably the word that I've used the most.    What I find is that some people are easier for me to understand and others not so easy and even others that are simply impossible for me to understand.  And that comes after spending  a total of almost 2.5 years in Peru speaking almost exclusively Spanish.  The more one uses Spanish speaking resources such as news channels, movies, etc. the more accustomed one becomes, but it still takes time.  At least that is my experience.
 
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
Steven-W15 July 31, 2018, 6:36 am
What kills me is how I can be so on one day and out of it the next. With my conversations on Skype, it goes from me thinking "Hey, I'm really getting this!" to "Damn, maybe I should just pretend this transmission is identity theft and bail..."
 
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
the-hefay July 31, 2018, 10:15 am
hahaha!

I know the feeling only it's harder to bail when the other person is 2 feet away. lol
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
Dan-H24 July 31, 2018, 11:26 am
Uno de mis "razones" para no entender español es que no oigo bien porque de demasiado exposición de las sirens cuando era bombero. Hoy voy a tener una prueba de audición. Tengo miedo que puedo oír bien, no tengo una excusa excepto que no entender bien. 
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
yademas July 31, 2018, 2:30 pm
I so relate to the latest comments.  
Steven mentioned how different it can be from one day to the next.  I have really noticed this, too, in my Skype sessions with tutors, and in my everyday lessons.  One day I'm on, and feeling quite pleased with myself and my progress, and the next day it all falls apart, and I wonder if I'm ever going to get it.  
But I keep plugging along, because--for some bizarre, masochistic reason that I don't fully understand--I really do enjoy it.
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
Dan-H24 August 1, 2018, 11:57 am
Puedo óir bien, así no entiendo español bastante bien. ¡Que triste! 

Yademas: Si aprender un lenguaje era fácil, el mundo sea llenar de políglotos.
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
the-hefay August 4, 2018, 2:05 am
Dan, no sé si debería decir ¡Que bien! o ¡Que pena!  Estoy feliz que tienes el oído.  Creo que necesitas hacer tu viaje a Sudamérica. La inmersión te sería una ayuda grande.

De mi parte, está confirmado que he perdido parte del oído en la oreja izquierda.  Este fue por cañones en el ejercito.
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
Dan-H24 August 4, 2018, 11:59 am
Hefay: Estoy cometido a un mes en Cuba en diciembre. Pero el año que viene, quiero viajar a varias países de Sudamérica. Eso es definitivamente en de mi "lista de cubo".
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
the-hefay August 4, 2018, 12:27 pm
¡Excelente!
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish
yademas September 2, 2018, 7:22 pm
 
He visto estos videos recientemente en Facebook. No son para todos, pero me gustan porque son diferentes y me hacen reír a veces. Hay varios y el contenido puede ser un poco "adulto".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FFxUHGjiCPo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G6iy-vMwBf4&index=4&list=RDJSSd2-SIUMo
How can I improve my understanding of Spanish

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